The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences wants to study the feasibility of adding a dental school, the state's first, and on Friday a legislative council will decide whether to authorize $50,000 for the study.
On Tuesday, the Legislative Council's review subcommittee backed a plan by UAMS to use $50,000 in private donations for the first phase of a feasibility study by the Academy for Academic Leadership of Atlanta.
UAMS spokesperson Leslie Taylor said if the university receives final legislative approval for the study on Friday, it will proceed with the feasibility study, which could take six months.
After UAMS receives results from the study, it will make the determination on whether to proceed, she said.
A dental school at UAMS would be the state's first. UAMS operates a satellite medical school in northwest Arkansas, and the state has two law schools at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. But it's never had a dental school or a veterinary school.
UAMS does operate a dental residency program at its dental clinic. Many prospective dentists from Arkansas attend the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis for their dental training.